49ers vs. Chiefs: Jimmy Garoppolo, starters to play ‘about one series’

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Kyle Shanahan told KNBR 680 his plan was to let the 49ers starters, including Jimmy Garoppolo, play only a short preseason bit against the Chiefs on Saturday.

Again, another piece of evidence from San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan that points to Jimmy Garoppolo being the full-fledged starting quarterback once the regular season rolls around in September.

The Niners host the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, Aug. 14 for both teams’ preseason opener this season. And after the global pandemic canceled the NFL’s exhibition period a year ago, it’s safe to say the 2021 three-game installment will draw a bit more attention than usual.

Especially in San Francisco’s case, as rookie quarterback Trey Lance appears to be hot on Garoppolo’s tail for the starting job.

Although Shanahan doesn’t appear to think Lance is fully ready for the QB1 role just yet.

Kyle Shanahan clarifies 49ers will start Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Chiefs, pull starters after a series or so

Garoppolo, who has almost exclusively taken snaps with the first-team offense during training camp, will still line up with the starters when the game kicks off.

As for the length of time Garoppolo and the first-string unit sees the field? Well, Shanahan clarified those plans on KNBR 680’s Murph & Mac Show on Thursday morning:

"We’re trying to start our starters for about one series. You hope it’s not a 3-and-out, except on defense. On offense, you hope you can go down and score in six plays or something like that and get those guys out.I’m not playing every starter, but there’s some starters I want to keep out for health reasons and things like that. But most of our guys, I plan on playing, and we’ll get them out quickly."

As for Shanahan’s plans with Lance? It’s looking as if the 49ers will try fielding the rookie for the remainder of the first half:

"I’m hoping Trey can finish out that first half. We’ll see how many plays he gets and what the situations are.I’d be surprised if I play him in the third quarter, but we’ll see how the game goes, and, hopefully, he’ll get in a good quarter and about three-fourths of one."

Meanwhile, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he was planning on his starters playing for a full quarter this Saturday.

Lance, meanwhile, could certainly use the additional field time. While reviews of the No. 3 overall NFL Draft pick’s performances during camp have been exemplary, it’s important to acknowledge Lance had just one full year as a starter at North Dakota State and attempted only 318 passes during his collegiate career.

Read More: How Trey Lance is outperforming Jimmy Garoppolo in training camp

In terms of experience, Lance doesn’t have it. Matching up against another opponent now, likely some first-string defenders over the first quarter, is an education from which Lance should surely benefit.

Plus, seeing Lance over nearly two quarters of action should give Niners fans plenty of reasons to watch the game, too.

At least until halftime.

San Francisco and Kansas City kick off on Saturday, Aug. 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium.

h/t to 49ers Webzone for the find.

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